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How to Enable Boot Logging in Windows 11

Boot logging in Windows 11 is a built-in diagnostic feature that logs the drivers and services loaded during the system’s boot process to a text file called “ntbtlog.txt”. You can use this boot log file to troubleshoot and verify if all the drivers and services are loading correctly and without errors. Additionally, this feature helps diagnose boot failures and driver compatibility issues. In this tutorial, I’ll show you the simplest way to enable boot logging in Windows 11 and how to disable it when you no longer need it. Let’s get started.

Before You Begin

  • You need administrative rights to turn on the boot log in Windows 11.
  • If you have Device Encryption or BitLocker turned on, you might need the BitLocker recovery key to proceed. Keep it ready. If you don’t have it, back up the BitLocker recovery key first and then proceed. If you are using a Microsoft account to log into Windows 11, your BitLocker key is automatically backed up to your MS account. You can find and recover it here: Microsoft BitLocker recovery keys

How to Enable Boot Logging in Windows 11

Step 1: Open System Configuration Tool (msconfig)

First, press the “Win + R” to open the Run dialog. Type “msconfig” in it and click “OK” to open the System Configuration tool.

Step 2: Select the “Boot Log” Checkbox

In the System Configuration window, go to the “Boot” tab. Check the “Boot Log” checkbox under Boot Options. Click “OK” to save the changes.

check boot log checkbox to enable boot logging in windows 11

Step 3: Click “Yes” in the BitLocker Dialog Box

If BitLocker is enabled, a prompt will appear asking you to keep the BitLocker recovery key ready before restarting. Ensure you have the recovery key and click “Yes”.

click yes

Step 4: Restart Your Computer

Save any unsaved work and click the “Restart” button. This action immediately restarts your computer.

click restart

Important Note: If BitLocker is enabled, Windows 11 will boot to the recovery environment and prompt you to enter the BitLocker recovery key. Type the recovery key and press Enter to proceed.

After restarting, Windows 11 will automatically log driver and service events to the boot log file.

How to Disable Boot Logging in Windows 11

To disable boot logging in Windows 11, press “Win + R”, type “msconfig” and click “OK”. Navigate to the “Boot” tab, uncheck the “Boot Log” checkbox, and click “OK”. Click “Restart” when prompted.

disable boot log in Windows 11

Where To Find Boot Log File (ntbtlog.txt) in Windows 11

Once boot logging is enabled, Windows 11 logs the events to the “ntbtlog.txt” file. You can find it in the “C:\Windows” folder.

Windows 11 boot log file (ntbtlog.txt) in C:\Windows folder
Windows 11 boot log file (ntbtlog.txt) in the “C:\Windows” folder

Double-click on the “ntbtlog.txt” file to open it with Notepad. You will immediately see several entries regarding successful and failed (if any) driver and service loads.

Windows 11 boot log file

Keep in mind that Windows 11 automatically rewrites the boot log file each time the system boots. If you want to compare multiple boots, you will need to manually save a copy of “ntbtlog.txt” before rebooting.

Wrapping Up

Turning on boot logging is a very useful feature for troubleshooting and verifying which drivers and services are loading during the boot process. Once enabled, you can find the boot log file (ntbtlog.txt) in the “C:\Windows” folder. Remember that Windows 11 automatically rewrites the boot log file on each reboot. If you want to compare multiple boots, manually copy the “ntbtlog.txt” file to another folder before rebooting.

If you have any questions or need help, comment below. I will answer.

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